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9-12 Art & Science: Crystal Vases


Products Used

  • 3 - Thrown Vessels
  • FN-003 Orange
  • FN-004 Red
  • FN-020 Medium Green
  • CG-753 Sassy Orange
  • CG-756 Firecracker
  • CG-970 Masquerade
Decorating Accessories
  • CB-604 #4 Soft Fan
Additional Materials
  • BT-910 Synthetic Sponge

Techniques: Wheel Throwing or Hand-building, Glaze Application
Course Length: 2 weeks (allow for dry time and firing)
Level: Advanced, grades 9-12
Download Plan: Art & Science: Crystal Vases


Color theory encompasses a multitude of definitions, concepts and schemes that are very important in order to understand ourselves and the world around us. Whether an artist wants to define emotions through color, or use it abstractly through the lens of another material, color is expressed in many ways. In this project, students will be able to demonstrate the use of color through the application of their foundation glazes and the magical use of Jungle Gems Crystal glaze-a glaze that transforms tiny crystals on the surface during the firing process. This experimentation of new glazes will enhance the study of color theory in an expressive way.


  • Students will learn how to create a simple vessel form into a vase, whether by throwing the clay on the wheel, or hand building the form with the coil technique.
  • Students will experiment with color through glaze choices and the use of the Jungle Gems Crystal Glaze, one that creates crystal, speck-like effect on the surface of the vessel while firing.
  • Students will learn how to create balance and form with the clay structure, and will use their knowledge of color theory to experiment with crystal effects on the surface of their work.

National Standards

  • Explain how traditional and non-traditional materials may impact human health and the environment and demonstrate safe handling of materials, tools, and equipment.
  • Through experimentation, practice, and persistence, demonstrate acquisition of skills and knowledge in a chosen art form.
  • Utilize inquiry methods of observation, research, and experimentation to explore unfamiliar subjects through art-making.
  • Construct evaluations of a work of art or collection of works based on differing sets of criteria.


Part 1. Construction of Vessels:
  1. By using wheel throwing techniques, create 3 simple, curved vase forms, including a lid.
    If throwing wheels are not accessible, use the coil hand-building method to create 3 simple vase forms, and small slab forms for the lids. This technique can be done with small or large coils, depending on how big you would like your vessel. Starting on the base of the vase, move your way up the form by coiling layers upward until you have the basic shape of a curved vase. Simplicity is best for this project, because the glazing application/result is the true focus.
Part 2. Glaze Application:
  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Using CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply three coats of FN-004 Red to the top of the vase, and three coats CG-970 Masquerade on the bottom. Allow glaze to lose its shine between coats.
  3. Using CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply three coats of FN-20 Medium Green on the top, and three coats of CG-753 Sassy Orange on the bottom. Allow glaze to lose its shine between coats.
  4. Using CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply three coats of FN-003 Orange of the top, and three coats of CG-756 Firecracker on the bottom. Allow glaze to lose its shine between coats.
    • On the third coat, make sure there is a lighter application of crystals near the bottom. This is to allow room for the crystals to move without sticking to the shelf.

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